AN in-depth travel guide TO CAPE town

Last Updated: 8/6/20 | August 6th, 2020

This week, Natasha as well as Cameron from The world Pursuit share their tips as well as advice for visiting Cape Town. It’s one of my preferred cities in the world as well as offers great deals of hiking, history, wine, as well as incredible views!

Dominated by the iconic Table Mountain, which serves as a backdrop everywhere in the city, Cape town is a mish-mash of cultures. Its charm was apparent the day we arrived: we had a monthlong apartment rental as well as a plethora of “must-see” sites, however the laid-back vibe of the city had us in no rush to do so.

After just one hour of exploring, we stated to every other, “We are going to like it here.”

After two months of soaking up the sun, enjoying the outdoors, as well as eating tasty food, we still hadn’t handled to pull away from the city. The magic of Cape town extends well beyond its beauty; it lies in what it can offer visitors.

Whether it was inspecting out a weekend market, hiking, going to a jazz concert, canyoneering, or spotting some wildlife, we never ran out of things to do. as well as you won’t either!

1. Take a free walking Tour

Start your go to off with a free walking tour. It’s the very best method to introduce yourself to the city as well as begin to get the lay of the land. You’ll see the primary sights, discover some history, as well as get to satisfy a regional professional guide who can response all your questions.

Free walking tours Cape town offers free everyday walking tours. Taking one is the very best method to kick your trip off. just be sure to tip your guide at the end (that’s exactly how they make their living).

2. enjoy the view from Table Mountain

At over 3,500 feet above sea level, the views from Table mountain are the very best in the city. Taking the famous cablecar up the mountain was one of the very first things we did. However, at 330 ZAR (USD $22 USD), it is fairly expensive.

If you want to hike up instead, the shortest path takes about two hours. On the top, you’ll get to enjoy a 360-degree view of Cape Town, the harbor, the mountains, as well as the beaches. the very best time to go to is during sunset — hike up, bring some snacks, as well as enjoy the view!

3. Drive Chapman’s peak to Cape Point

Past Chapman’s peak southwest of Cape town is Cape point national Park, where you can witness the collision of the Atlantic as well as Indian oceans at the Cape of great Hope. The national park offers long hikes, coastal birdlife, as well as a possibility to take in the smallest as well as richest floral kingdom in the world, the fynbos (a little belt of natural shrubland).

You will have to pay a 52 ZAR ($3 USD) toll to drive on the road; however, the scenic drive is well worth the cost! The famous highway snakes along the vertical cliff faces of Table Mountain, leaving you wondering whether your vehicle will end up in the Atlantic.

Expect to spend at least 250 ZAR ($15 USD) each day for a rental car. The entry charge to the Cape point national Park is 320 ZAR ($18.50 USD).

4. go to Robben Island

Visiting the former political prison on Robben Island was high on our listing of things to do. Nelson Mandela was imprisoned right here 18 years as well as the site was declared a UNESCO Heritage site in 1999.

A former inmate personally guides everybody around the prison. It is both sobering as well as inspiring to discover first-hand about the very first black president of South Africa from people who really understood him. We were able to hear their stories as well as sit in the exact same precise cells where prisoners who fought for their rights were locked away.

It’s difficult to believe about the victims of political oppression still in prison around the world as well as keep in mind that, in spite of what the news may say, we’re a great deal further along than just two decades ago.

Ferries operate three times a day, starting at 9am (a fourth ferry operates during the summer). Admission is 320 ZAR ($22 USD) for adults as well as 200 ZAR ($13.50 USD) for anyone under 18 (tickets include the ferry ride).

5. check out Hout Bay

On weekends in Hout Bay, artisans as well as vendors from around the city come to the Bay Harbour Market to offer their goods: whatever from fish stew, souvenirs, crêpes, jewelry, art, as well as even mojitos are available, as are online bands.

You can get just about anything you can crave. We found the market by happenstance: we had come to go swimming with the seals in Hout Bay, as well as just complied with the seems of the buzzing market. We enjoyed it so much we returned several times.

The market is open Friday evenings from 5pm-9pm as well as weekends from 9:30am to 4pm.

The bay as well as harbor are likewise house to tons of seals as well as seabirds. between June as well as November, you can likewise discover migrating whales here. right whales, humpback whales, Bryde’s whales, as well as dolphins are right here in abundance. If you want to take a whale-watching tour, expect to pay around 900 ZAR ($50 USD) per person.

6. See Kirstenbosch Gardens

On a nice spring day, we headed to the southern suburbs to inspect out Kirstenbosch Gardens. set against the slopes of Table Mountain, the gorgeous botanical gardens are properly dubbed “the most gorgeous garden in Africa.”

Kirstenbosch offers visitors a possibility to check out the fynbos as well as different floral kingdoms discovered across the African continent. Spanning over 1,300 acres, the gardens were really established over 300 years back as well as are house to over 22,000 kinds of plants. Be sure to do the tree canopy pathway — it offers incredible views.

This was hands-down was one of our finest trips as well as provided a welcome getaway from the city. Admission is 70 ZAR ($5 USD).

7. relax at Muizenberg Beach

Muizenberg is a southern suburb of Cape town famous for its boardwalk as well as surf. It’s a 30-minute vehicle trip from the city center as well as the perfect area to discover exactly how to surf. The laid-back community is a beach bum’s haven as well as has a strong multicultural vibe that is refreshing. A one-hour lesson with wetsuit costs only 350 ZAR ($20 USD) as well as makes for a fantastic method to get active on vacation.

If surfing isn’t your thing, the community is likewise house to a number of cultural events as well as yoga studios. We took a stab at a free yoga class, complied with by a healthy wrap as well as smoothie along the beach. Afterward, we took pictures of the famous beach stands that are painted in a rainbow of colors.

8. Hike Lion’s Head

While hiking up Table mountain may take as well long for an evening hike, the adjacent Lion’s Head is only a 45-minute climb to the top. It’s essentially the bit sibling to Table Mountain.

Make sure to bring a camera on your hike, since it’s one of the most photogenic areas in Cape Town. Rising high above the city skyline, it still provides incredible views of the city, sea, as well as Table Mountain. The evening we hiked up, we witnessed a unusual show as a low blanket of clouds made all trace of guy disappear.

Sunrise as well as sunset can be congested times, as locals as well as tourists alike clamber up the mountain to take in the impressive vista. when on top of the peak be sure to reward yourself with a traditional African “sundowner” (a drink while watching the sunset). Our personal drink of option is the traditional gin & tonic; it complements a sunset on Lion’s Head perfectly.

Just keep in mind to bring a flashlight for the hike back down!

9. See the Boulders beach Penguins

This was at the top of our to-do listing in Cape Town. So, we saved it for a special event as well as made our method to see the house of countless African penguins (the colony is house to over 3,000 penguins).

Visitors can properly view them from a increased boardwalk, while still providing the huge colony their personal space. You’ll understand where the African penguin’s second name, “jackass penguin,” comes from when you hear them call.

Boulders beach Park costs 152 ZAR ($9 USD) per person to enter, with the charge going to the upkeep of the park as well as conservation of the penguins. Don’t try to take a picture as well close to a penguin — they bite (I’m speaking from experience).

10. wine as well as Dine in Stellenbosch

One of the most world-renowned wine regions is only a 45-minute trip outside of Cape Town. There are numerous privately had vineyards in as well as around Stellenbosch, with tastings generally costing 60-75 ZAR ($4-5 USD) (food pairings are offered as well).

If you don’t have a vehicle as well as want to take a tour, expect to pay at 1,000 ZAR ($68 USD) per person for a half-day tour. many hostels in the city likewise run their own tours or have partnerships with regional tour guides who can take you as well. Be sure to shop around to discover the very best price!

Additionally, inspect out the Vine Hopper, a hop-on, hop-off van with different vineyard routes. If you can only go to one vineyard, we would suggest Lanzerac to taste the origin of the region’s extremely own Pinotage variety.

11. roam Bo-Kaap

Walking distance from the city center is the vibrant Cape Malay (Muslim) community of Bo-Kaap, the former quarters of the city’s slave population. However, as time passed, the community grew, as well as different neighborhoods have called it home.

Nowadays, the Cape Malay population resides in a vibrant neighborhood. Don’t feel timid walking with as well as taking photos; the residents are friendly as well as utilized to having their houses photographed as well as published on Instagram. We went to the community in the morning to catch great light for pictures as well as watch the community come alive.

We ended up staying for a couple of hours, inspecting out South Africa’s very first mosque, Auwal Mosque, as well aseating at one of the very best Cape Malay restaurants in the neighborhood, Bo-Kaap Kombuis.

Afterward, we had lots of fun posing for pictures in front of the bright orange, green, pink, blue, as well as yellow houses.

12. go to slave Lodge

Slave Lodge was developed in 1679 by the Dutch east India business to home their slaves. It’s one of the oldest buildings in the city. Up up until 1811, over 60,000 African slaves were given the city, with 300 living in the cramped lodge at a time.

Today, the lodge is a museum where you can discover about the hardships slaves dealt with in their everyday lives in Cape Town.

Typical costs in Cape Town

Compared to other huge cities around the world, Cape town is definitely affordable. Hostels as well as apartments will offer the very best rates on accommodation, buses (albeit sluggish as well as inconsistent) are incredibly cheap, as well as no great meal should expense you more than 120 ZAR ($7 USD) unless it’s at an upscale restaurant.

We were never on an ultra-tight budget plan so we lived rather comfortably, with fantastic food as well as entertainment for a quarter of what it expense in NYC. Our only splurge days included excursions outside of the city, like canyoneering, whale watching, or bungee jumping — which expense between 900-1,400 ZAR ($50-80 USD) per person.

Overall, I would state that you should budget plan 662-836 ZAR ($38-48 USD) each day if you’re a backpacker. If you’re more of a mid-range traveler who stays at inexpensive hotels as well as eats out often, expect to spend between 1,220-1,480 ZAR ($70-85 USD) per day

How to save money in Cape Town

To assist you save money during your visit, right here are a few quick tips that assisted us keep our budget plan intact:

Go in the off-season – Traveling during South Africa’s winter season will assist your wallet. during the summer, locals leave the city to the tourists as well as South Africans from around the country take over.

In the winter, you have the capability to discover cheaper apartments on Airbnb since there is less competition. We visited in September as well as were able to negotiate with a number of apartment owners to discover the very best deal. It pays to shop around!

Enjoy free activities – If you’re looking for free things to do, then getting active is a fantastic solution. Climbing Lion’s Head, swimming at the beach, as well as running along the Sea point promenade are all free activities that provide a great workout. almost any type of outside activity in Cape town is sure to offer stunning views of the ocean as well!

Avoid buying in touristy areas – shops at the Watershed, in Camps Bay, as well as downtown offer handmade regional products — however they aren’t cheap. These are a few of the most visited areas in the city so costs are generally higher. If you’re looking to save money, don’t shop in the tourist areas!

Stay in affordable communities – Camps Bay, Sea Point, as well as the Waterfront areas are all genuine estate hotspots: they are a few of the most gorgeous areas of Cape Town. therefore they’re the most costly areas to stay in.

For more inexpensive choices try Muizenberg, Vredehoek, or Woodstock. We stayed in apartments in each of those neighborhoods, which offered their own sightseeing however we were still only an Uber trip away from the primary sights.

Find inexpensive groceries – Shoprite as well as Checker’s are the two cheaper supermarket options. If you’re cooking your own meals, shop at either of these two stores.

There is bit reason to question why so many people are drawn to Cape Town. The city has almost whatever to offer: beaches, food, mountains, wildlife, history, culture, wine, as well as experience sports.

Exploring Cape town takes time. Life seems to move a bit slower in the Cape. The locals enjoy their city’s extremely laid-back attitude, as well as you’ll want to do the same. We stayed for two months as well as still hear about things that we missed. We’re already plotting our eventual return!

Natasha as well as Cameron run the blog The world Pursuit, focusing on experience as well as cultural travel. You can comply with their adventures on Instagram as well as Facebook.

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